Lawyers Want Justice for Unborn Child Killed at Fort Hood

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

A national alliance of Christian attorneys has issued a letter to the Judge Advocate at Fort Hood, Texas, urging him to charge the suspect in the Fort Hood massacre with the killing of all 14 victims in the Fort Hood massacre, including the pre-born child of Private Francheska Velez.

“All murder victims–born and pre-born–deserve equal justice,” said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden in a press release. “Women who volunteer to protect our country deserve to know that the government will enforce the laws that protect their children.”

To date, military prosecutors have charged Maj. Nadil Malik Hasan with 13 counts of premeditated murder after last week’s shooting at Fort Hood but have not yet charged him with the death of Velez’s child, now known as “Baby Velez.” Army officials have indicated that additional charges against Hasan are under consideration.

The ADF letter urges enforcement of Article 119a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which makes it a crime for anyone “to cause the death…of a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place” regardless of whether the killer intended to kill the child.

“According to press accounts, Private Velez had returned to America from Iraq a week before the shooting,” the letter states.  “Private Velez was three months pregnant and was excited about being a new mother.  She was scheduled to begin maternity leave next month. She was filling out paperwork relating to her pregnancy when she and her child were killed…

“It would cause a severe and negative impact on morale if Army women were made to believe that the Army valued their children less than they did adult victims of crime.  We respectfully request that you enforce UCMJ Article 119a against the suspect.”

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